Man sentenced to prison after fatal punch during drunken bar brawl in Canton

·2 min read

A drunken brawl at a popular Canton sports bar that turned deadly back in 2019 has reached its conclusion.

Earlier this month, prosecutors say that 34-year-old Gary Matthew Allen pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for punching 48-year-old Leon Paul Danzis twice. Danzis ultimately died from the injuries he sustained from those punches.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden has followed this case since it broke in July 2019.

Prosecutors say Allen was playing pool at the Canton Icehouse when Danzis arrived and seat near the pool table. Surveillance video shows the two interacting several times throughout the evening.

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At one point during the night, Allen and Danzis could be seen on camera talking in a doorway when Allen punches Danzis in the face, knocking him to the ground. While Danzis lays on the ground unconscious, Allen punches him a second time.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation determined that Danzis suffered blunt force trauma to the head, resulting in his death.

Toxicology reports show that Allen had a blood alcohol level of 0.123 hours after he was arrested, which is well above the legal definition of intoxication.


“Determining the ‘why’ of Mr. Allen’s actions that night is virtually impossible when you consider the level of his intoxication at the time of the assault. While the defendant’s memory of the event appears to be foggy, surveillance video provides a clearer picture of what actually occurred, showing the defendant blindsiding Mr. Danzis, striking him twice in the face, leading to a tragic and needless loss of life,” said Deputy Chief ADA Randall Ivey.

Allen was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 15 years to serve in prison. While on probation, Allen must complete 200 hours of community service and cannot have any alcohol, drugs or firearms. He was also ordered to submit to a substance abuse assessment and follow recommended treatment.

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